The stated purpose of the Daughters of the American Revolution is “to foster true patriotism and love of country.” They preserved records, participated in civic observances, restored civic monuments, participated in awarding students of American history, and awarded the ROTC candidates. They also supported veterans services.
Formed in June of 1894, the Fort Dearborn Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) was the third chapter in Illinois. The DAR promoted patriotic activities in Evanston, including awarding prizes to local students for historical essays, maintaining flags throughout the community, and giving every Evanston school a framed copy of a portrait of George Washington and of the Declaration of Independence. It was also active in assisting foreign-born citizens in obtaining U.S. citizenship. In 1929, the DAR established the Soldier’s Memorial in Patriot’s Park at Davis Street and Sheridan Road. The chapter still exists today and in recent years helped to raise funds for a complete restoration of the Soldier’s Memorial.
One contribution of the DAR to Evanston was its assistance to foreign-born adults seeking to improve their English and obtain citizenship. The DAR published “The Manual of the United States” which was to assist the foreigner and was given to immigrants at two ports of entry into this country, as well as in Evanston itself. The DAR also commissioned “Evanston – Its Reach and Its People,” by Viola Crouch Reeling. The Fort Dearborn chapter also presented framed copies of the Declarations of Independence to schools, awarded prizes to students for historical essays, maintained flags throughout Evanston, and established the Soldier’s Memorial in Patriot Park in 1929.